Booming and Bubbling India-IV

Economy grows at record 9.4%: Indian economy grew by 9.4% in 2006-07 against 9% in the previous year. Manufacturing grew by 12.3% in 2006-07 against 9.1% in the previous year, while trade, hotels, transport and communication grew by 13% against 10.4%. It means a per capita income of Rs 29,382 a year or Rs 2,448.5 a month. It is the same India that also houses the most number of billionaires in Asia-36, ahead of economic powerhouse Japan, according to Forbes magazine.

FDI piling: India is expected to attract $30 billion of foreign direct investment (FDI) this fiscal year. The FDI gap between India and China is closing at last. FDI per unit of GDP will be around the same very soon, even after ignoring the fact that China uses more liberal definitions of FDI. Moreover, in 2006-07, the $15 billion of FDI that came in was far more than the $4.9 billion of FII investment, thus reducing short-term risks.

Latin America lures Indian IT firms: Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Costa Rica are the most mature sourcing destinations in South or Central America, and it is Indian vendors that are leading the charge. TCS has operations in 14 countries including major centres in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay, employing over 5,000 professionals and catering to more than 150 clients with its revenues of Latin America touching $159 million (around Rs 650 crore) in 2006-07.

Dell designs in India: Dell, the Texas-based computer maker, is soon going to roll out its enterprise server ranges being designed and developed from its India R&D which focuses on enterprise products for global markets. Dell’s India R&D center, established in 2001 primarily for software development, has grown from 100 people to 600 people now, and is also the largest R&D centre for Dell outside the US.

Retail institutes: According to industry estimates, retail alone will throw up 2.2 million jobs by 2011. Presently there are around 50 institutes offering post-graduate courses in the country. At least 50 more institutes are expected to come up in another 2 years with specific retail programmes.

Potential of Rural India: Promotion of rural tourism, wasteland cultivation and enhancing grain productivity can create upto 40 million new jobs and Rs85, 000 crore additional income in the countryside by 2012, a report by CII-McKinsey of 1 June 2007. According to the report, the per capita rural income can be jacked up by 25-30%. The four activities – cultivation of jatropha and pulpwood on the wasteland, improvement in the production of grains, wine and poultry and tourism development – are capable of generating Rs40, 000 crore, Rs20, 000 crore, Rs5, 000 crore and Rs20, 000 crore respectively by 2012.

India’s only trillionaire: A sharp surge in share prices has earned Reliance Industries’ chairman Mukesh Ambani a rare distinction of being the only trillionaire in the country with over Rs1, 00,000 crore of wealth through his shareholdings. Younger brother Anil is also trailing behind closely with close to Rs90, 000 crore of wealth in the stock market.

BSE now worth $1 trillion: The Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) total investor wealth – the market capitalisation or the total market value of all listed shares – has crossed the $1 trillion mark for the first time in history. The market cap today touched Rs 40,69,000 crore, a rise of Rs 46,500 crore from the previous day, and as the rupee closed at a nine-year high of 40.51 to the dollar, the market cap in dollar terms crossed the $1 trillion level. The combined market value of Reliance Industries, ONGC, Bharti Airtel, NTPC and TCS has soared past $210 billion and accounts for more than 20% of the entire $1 trillion wealth of investors across categories.

Coca-Cola plans robust investments: Putting behind the worst ever controversies of pesticide in cola, Coca Cola has a robust investment plan to boost operations in the Indian market.

Vodafone to invest Rs 8,000 cr: British giant Vodafone’s plans to invest one billion pounds (over Rs 8,000 crore) in India this year is nearly one-fifth of its global expenditure, reflecting the importance the world’s largest mobile player attaches to expand in the fastest-growing telecom market.

Hero Honda for $300-350: The world’s biggest two-wheeler maker is planning to build a motorcycle that will sell for Rs 12,500-15,000 and create an all-new class of buyers. At present, the cheapest motorcycles in India cost between Rs 30,000 and Rs 35,000.

Suzlon bags Repower:
Wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy has managed to gain control of over 60 per cent of Germany-based REpower’s equity through an agreement with its shareholders, French nuclear energy company Areva and Portugal’s Martifier. Both Areva, which holds 30.17 per cent of REpower’s equity, as well as Martifier, which owns 23.08 per cent, have conceded their voting rights to Suzlon. Suzlon becomes the fourth-largest wind power company in the world.

Tata Steel enters Vietnam:
Tata Steel secured the Vietnam government’s approval for floating a joint venture with Vietnam Steel Corporation (VSC) to build a nearly Rs 14,000 crore integrated steel complex in that country. Tata Steel would take a stake of up to 65 per cent in a steel plant venture with Vietnam and a 30 per cent stake in a nearby iron ore mine

TCS buys Brazil’s partner: Country’s top software exporter TCS has acquired the remaining 49 per cent stake in its Brazilian joint venture for USD 33.4 million, giving the company 100 per cent ownership. TCS do Brasil recorded a topline of 66.5 million dollar for the year ended March 31, 2007 and has over 1700 employees. India’s prowess in the BPO space continues to win accolades at the global arena with three Indian companies — Wipro, Bharti Airtel and Bank of India –bagging ‘The Outsourcing Excellence Awards’, dubbed as ‘Oscars of Outsourcing’.

Crompton acquires Microsol: Crompton Greaves, India’s fourth largest electrical equipment maker has agreed to purchase Ireland’s Microsol Holdings and other group companies-its third purchase in Europe in 2 1/2 years and increase access to new markets, taking advantage of India’s low labour costs.

Indian agriculture conglomerate Jain Irrigation Systems is buying 50% of Israel’s Na’an Dan Irrigation at a company valuation of about $35 million..

Tata Tea’s strategical sale: Tata Tea makes profit of $523 million on stake sale. In August last year, Tata Tea purchased 30 per cent equity in US-based Energy Brands Inc for $677 million. With Atlanta-based beverage giant Coca Cola’s decision to acquire Energy Brands, also known as Glaceau, for $4.1 billion in cash, Tata Tea stands to get $1.2 billion for its holding, which it has decided to sell. It’s a neat 77 per cent return in nine months.

Global auto majors sourcing from India: ArvinMeritor currently sources components worth $80 million from India from about 24 companies. The sourcing value may touch about $500 million over the next few years. Global OEMs like General Motors, Ford, Fiat, DaimlerChrysler, Renault, Volvo, among others have already been sourcing parts from India. The ACMA-McKinsey Vision 2015 document estimates the potential for the Indian auto component industry to be $40-45 billion by 2015. German luxury carmaker BMW will soon open its international purchasing office to cater to its worldwide ancillaries requirement.

ITC trains 10 lakh farmers: ITC Limited has turned teacher to about 10 lakh farmers in states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. Senior scientists from the National Research Centre for Soyabean (Indore) and University of Pant Nagar, as well as post-graduates from other agriculture universities, have been roped in by the company to supervise and demonstrate best agricultural practices to farmers.

Indian economy to surpass Japan: India’s economy will overtake the Japanese economy by 2025 to rank third in the world after the United States and China in terms of purchasing power parity.

Information Click away: For the 25 million Indians living abroad, the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) launched a facilitation centre, which will act as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for addressing all the queries of the Indian Diaspora regarding opportunities available in the country.

Highest French civilian honour for Indian educationist: Bikas Sanyal, who is the director of Maison de l’Inde or India House in Paris, has been honoured by the French government with its highest civilian award, the Legion d’Honneur.

Record power addition this fiscal: As much as 17,000 Mw is slated for commissioning during the year – two and a half times more than the largest addition of 6,850 Mw achieved last year that represents as much as 13 per cent of the current capacity of 132,000 Mw in the country. Will India be able to add 78,000 Mw of capacity over the next five years as promised?

Indian BPO firms in world’s ‘hot growth’ list: Two US-listed Indian outsourcing firms — Cognizant Technology and EXLService — have made it to a list of the world’s 100 “hot growth” companies with significant growth potential.

Engineering outsource: India is poised to become the hub of engineering process outsourcing (EPO) with the size of its EPO market expected to touch $30 billion annually by 2015, according to a strategy paper on “Growth of EPO from India” based on an analysis by consultancy firm AF Ferguson. The estimated demand for EPO to India has grown at 30% to 35% from 2004-06. The global EPO market is poised to grow to $ 110 billion to $140 billion by 2015. Engineering exports from India had touched the $ 26 billion mark in 2006-07.

Protein mapped: Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore have mapped and modeled an important protein in the parasite that is responsible for the most lethal and common form of malaria. It will help drug researchers make drugs that attack and weaken specific areas on the protein, thereby killing the parasite and its spread.

Wockhardt to set up 30 hospitals by 2012: Mumbai-based Wockhardt Hospitals plans to set up 30 hospitals in the country in five years. Wockhardt is one of the major corporate hospitals groups in the country with over 1500 beds in 10 hospitals in Mumbai, Bangalore, Calcutta, Gujarat and Nagpur According to management sources, the hospitals would cover almost every city of the country. Work on a 400-bed hospital in Bangalore has just begun.

Social engineering: Several companies such as multinationals like McDonald’s and Dell and even domestic firms like Group 4 Securitas have tied up with an Andhra Pradesh-based government organisation Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) to source employees from the Naxlite infested districts.

India Inc. performs well: India’s top 25 business houses showed significant growth in terms of sales and profit during 2006-07. Sterlite, notched the fastest growth in sales up at a rate of 78.6%, followed by Ruchi (54.2%). On the other hand, BK Birla group logged a net profit growth of 177.4%, followed by Sterlite (164.6%) and the KK Birla group (120.5%).

India Inc. bullish on ‘clean’ business: As of 24 April, as many as 220 clean development mechanism (CDM) projects from India have been registered under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), for availing certified emission reductions (CERs). According to the latest UNFCCC data, Indian projects accounted for 35 per cent of the registrations, way above China and Brazil..

India is booming all around even after all the annoying news such as Gurjjar rebellion or some greedy advocates selling their conscience for money. And as it seems every one is ready to be sold for a price. But still there is some hope. I read news from Noida itself where an auto driver returns a bag full of cash and jewelry to its owner. Surprisingly, he was from Bihar.

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